Personal Pension  

Tpas and ABI join forces for pension scam campaign

Tpas and ABI join forces for pension scam campaign

The Pensions Advisory Service and the Association of British Insurers have launched a collaborative social media campaign to help raise consumer awareness about the risks and consequences of pension scams.

The online campaign aims to highlight to consumers just how valuable their pension is and the processes scammers use to get their hands on their savings and information.

An infographic has also been developed providing a look at the ‘hooks’ and ‘hustle’ techniques scammers use and say, as well as providing the top five tips on how to avoid being scammed and what to do if you’re not sure about what’s being offered.

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Providers recently warned that pension scams were set to increase with the introduction of the new at-retirement flexibilities in April, with Standard Life in particular mentioning that it has blocked around 400 suspicious pension transfers, totalling almost £14m, with 18 blocked in the last month alone.

In December, the Pensions Regulator said more than £134m was transferred between August 2011 and June 2013, with fees of 11 per cent, amounting to more than £14.7m, being charged.

It stated that legal action had been taken to stop the use of several schemes it judged were “established with the main purpose of providing a cash payment to the member rather than providing retirement benefits”.

The regulator began using the stories of pension scam victims as a warning last July, as part of its ‘Scorpion’ campaign.

Michelle Cracknell, Tpas chief executive, said that pension scams were becoming more prevalent, with their helpline inundated with people who have been approached by cold callers offering pensions reviews.

“If you receive one of these calls, check with us so we can explain the warning signs so that you can identify the illegal or inappropriate activities. We have information on our website or you can contact our helpline to help people spot the scams.”

Yvonne Braun, head of savings, retirement and social care at the ABI, stated that its members are helping to prevent innocent people falling victim by reporting suspicious transfers to the enforcement agencies.

“The industry continues to work closely with government, regulators and Tpas to help protect savers from these scams.”

peter.walker@ft.com